BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 1ST, 2017 (PRESS SEC) — At last night’s well-attended and highly effective town hall meeting in Saddlers, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris gave some insight into the stratospheric level of determination, focus, loyalty and support that emanates from the people of his constituency when it comes to getting him elected.
Speaking yesterday, Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at the Saddlers Primary School in Constituency #6, Prime Minister Harris explained why he flubbed the date of the 2015 general elections, saying February 15th instead of the 16th during his presentation last night.
“Sometimes I say the 15th because I’ll tell you how we do it in #7,” Dr. Harris, the popular, six-time elected Member of Parliament who conducts regular house-to-house visits, one-on-one consultations and social events in his district of Constituency #7 (Belle Vue to Ottley’s), said during the Good Governance and Accountability for Prosperity town hall meeting last night.
Just then, a boisterous “oh yeah!” erupted from one of his ardent constituents in the crowd. As the Honourable Prime Minister continued to speak, more supporters chimed in with similar cheers.
“There’s no sleeping the night before Election Day. There is no sleeping the night before,” Prime Minister Harris said, adding: “We are ready like Freddy to be in the lines, and we don’t leave our polling booths until all the votes are counted. That is how we do it!”
Seeing up close how much Dr. Harris’ constituents feed off of his energy gives one a deep appreciation of why “Harris again!” is arguably the most famous political slogan in St. Kitts-Nevis history. The Honourable Prime Minister inspires fierce loyalty by championing the ordinary people.
It is no wonder, then, that at the Good Governance and Accountability for Prosperity town hall meeting held on Tuesday, February 21st at the OOJJ’s Conference Centre in West Basseterre, Prime Minister Harris said: “Everybody knows that over by me no matter who they bring – no matter who they bring – I am the champion!”
Dr. Harris added at that meeting in Constituency #3: “I want the burden to be light for the next time around. Therefore, I want the [Team Unity] candidates to be out there, listening to you, responding to you, coming to see you, going to church with you, visiting you in the hospital, and…strengthening themselves so that the next time around they will be stronger than ever.”
The late Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill Jr., a prominent figure in the U.S. Democratic Party who served as Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987, reportedly coined the famous expression “All politics is local.”
This refers to the fact that a politician’s success is linked to empathy for, and a connection with, the constituents – that is, possessing a genuine ability to identify with them, and understand their everyday concerns and, importantly, work to alleviate them.
The late Rudyard Kipling, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 1907, referred to a similar ability in his poem titled “If-.” Kipling wrote: “If you can…walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch…you’ll be a Man, my son!”
Having attained a Ph.D. in Accounting from Concordia University in Canada in 2002, become St. Kitts and Nevis’ third Prime Minister in 2015, and received the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize – Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize – in 2016, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis can certainly hold his own in the rarefied world of the global elite. However, it is clear that he feels most at home when working hard for the people of the country.
As for his very close rapport with his constituents in #7, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris sits side by side with them on a regular basis, sometimes with a notepad and pen in hand to record their concerns. At other times, Dr. Harris holds only a bottle of water or a local non-alcoholic drink while socializing with them and taking mental notes. His aim is always to make their lives better.
Getting to sit with the Honourable Prime Minister is symbolic for one 40-year-old lady, who had a one-on-one consultation with him in Molineux on Thursday, March 24th, 2016. It symbolizes the strong ties that she and her family have with him.
“He used to just come and sit down and talk to my grandmother,” the lady said, adding that her grandmother would always tell Dr. Harris to ‘Do the good works!’
The lady, who declined to give her name, went on to say about her grandmother: “She said she would always vote for him, so she always told us to do not turn our back on him.”